BOGNOR Regis Football Club took the local bragging rights on Thursday evening (August 1) with a 3-1 friendly win against Worthing at Woodside Road.
Two goals from Craig Robson and a poacher’s strike from former Rebel Terry Dodd gave the visitors a 3-0 lead, before Luke Gedling got a late goal back for Worthing.
Ryman League Premier Division Bognor controlled much of the first half with their neat, passing play and led 2-0 at the break.
The opener came after only three minutes when a corner from the left was only half-cleared and Harvey Whyte played in Ollie Pearce down the right wing and his cross was glanced home by central defender Robson from six yards.
Bognor almost doubled their lead on 12 minutes when Jon Marzetti rattled the bar with a dipping 20-yard strike and Pearce forced Rebels keeper Simon Lehkyj into a smart low stop just two minutes later.
Robson volleyed over a Kane Wills’ corner on 30 minutes, before Rebels had their first effort on goal after 35 minutes but Brad Murray’s decent strike from 25 yards was comfortably saved by Rocks keeper Mark Zawadski.
Within a minute, Bognor were 2-0 ahead as Robson was again first to meet a Wills corner and this time his downward header bounced up and into the roof of the net.
Rebels forced a few corners in the early stages of the second half but Bognor comfortably dealt with any crosses into the box.
With few chances at either end, Bognor keeper Zawadski was quick off his line to clear the ball for a throw on 65 minutes when Murray had looked to send Fred Foreman through on goal.
Rebels had a better opening three minutes later when John Lansdale laid the ball across for Foreman, with just Zawadski to beat, but the ball bounced up as Foreman looked to take a touch and the Bognor defence got back to clear the ball for a corner.
Bognor made it 3-0 on 70 minutes when Pearce’s free kick took a couple of deflections before finding its way to former Rebel Dodd, who poked the ball home from close range.
Robson went close to completing his hat-trick on 78 minutes when he was again first to a Wills corner but his header was cleared off the line at the back post.
Dodd went close to a second when his header from another corner was cleared off the line, before Gedling got a goal back for Rebels with a deflected volley four minutes from time.
Worthing joint manager Kieran Collins said: “It was disappointing, first half especially and all three goals, as the players have just said, we gave them.
“We changed the system at half-time (3-5-2 from 4-4-2) and we matched them and competed better in the second half.
“They still had good quality but then you look at their club as a whole and they’ve always had good quality and have always produced good young players, who want to get the ball down and play football.
“One thing our players have got to learn is that Bognor played when they could play but when they couldn’t play, they then put the ball in behind you. As we keep saying, we’ve got to start doing the same.
“As long as the players learn from tonight, then we can only get better.”
Worthing signed on midfielder Will Berry after the game.
Rebels travel to Shoreham for a friendly on Saturday, before they begin their Ryman League Division 1 South campaign at Corinthian Casuals on August 10.
WORTHING: Lehkyj; Piper, Cooke, Bryant, Pulling; Berry, Daniel, Crellin, Murray, Lansdale; Foreman. Subs: Gedling, Skinner (Bryant, Daniel 45), Hayward (Piper 52), Adams, Clack (Murray, Berry 65), Bant (Foreman 78).
BOGNOR: Zawadski; Marzetti, Sackman, Robson, Wollers; Tuck, Wills, Kempson; Whyte, Dodd, Pearce. Subs: Hopkinson (Wollers 45), Heath (Kempson 65), Morey, Barratt (Wills 78), Van Driel (Whyte 55).